The Houston Astros desperately need a new closer with Roberto Osuna likely out for the year. Here are five candidates to take the job.
The Houston Astros bullpen is festering into the weakest point on the team. The lineup is gradually coming around and the starting rotation is looking deceptively good. But the bullpen, as accentuated by the loss in the second game to the Giants, really needs to find its footing.
This isn’t helped on by the injury to closer Roberto Osuna, who could now be gone for the rest of the year. Optimistically, he could return, but until then, Dusty Baker has to find a guy who can shut the door on late rallies, because as of yet, no one has been able to do it.
What will likely happen is this will become a closer by committee situation, where no single pitcher is given the job, but in the event that Baker does seek the traditional way of having “that guy” who you can count on to turn the lights out, the Astros aren’t exactly starved for options… but they’re pretty close.
The Astros need a closer, so here are five candidates for the job
Still, let’s consider five options. I’m not saying these are five good options, but they are the five best we have, conveniently ranked.
We start with No. 5.
5. Enoli Paredes
Maybe this is just because I really like Enoli Paredes, maybe it’s because I really like cannoli’s, and Enoli’s Cannoli’s is by far my favorite advertisement ever. But Paredes, while still young and unproven, has some electric stuff and if he can learn to harness it, he could find himself as closer material.
As most of this year has been for the bullpen, a lot of it is testing the waters. Seeing what guys fit where. Paredes has faced 40 batters thus far into the year, given up just three runs, secured two holds, and struck out more than he’s walked. It’s not a perfect fit, I’ll admit that, but it might become that.
Paredes never really defined his role in the minors, as he was used as a starter and a late inning guy, but never a closer. Maybe it’s time to see if it sticks.
On to No. 4.